Press release: May 2000

In 1999, total export credit insurance business insured by Members of the Berne Union increased by 8% to more than US$ 411 billion.  This represents nearly 8% of total world exports.

At the end of 1999, Berne Union Export Credit Agencies’ exposure under their Export Credit Insurance/Guarantee and direct lending programmes totalled US$ 481 billion.

Total new medium and long term export credit insurance business increased by 10% to nearly US$ 70 billion – the first increase after a declining trend influenced by the economic crisis in several countries.

The President of the Berne Union, Mr. Doron Klausner, said that during 1999, most of these countries in crisis received more medium and long term insured export credits.

Medium/Long Term business for South Korea and Malaysia was even above pre-crisis levels.  For Indonesia there was an increase of more than 40%, while weak demand continued for the Philippines and Thailand.

Total Short Term business in 1999 increased to US$ 342 billion (US$ 319 billion in 1998).

Mr. Klausner also stressed that the stability of financial flows deriving from direct foreign investments in periods of economic instability, compared to commercial bank loans, was shown again by further increases in this business.  Total commitments outstanding in developing countries and countries in transition increased to US$ 60 billion(end 1998 : US$ 48 billion).

As for Members’ combined results, 1999 (in respect of Export Credits) shows a surplus of US$ 3 billion, down from a surplus of US$ 5.6 billion in 1998.

This surplus, like those for the previous 4 years, is mainly the consequence of substantial recoveries of unpaid debts dating back to the 1980’s.

Total recoveries amounted to US$ 6.2 billion.

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